Ladies’s PGA Championship: Mirim Lee admits she ‘had no motivation to play golf’ earlier than successful her debut main

Ladies’s PGA Championship: Mirim Lee admits she ‘had no motivation to play golf’ earlier than successful her debut main

Due to the shortage of aggressive golf because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lee was having a “powerful time” adjusting to life with out the power to “constantly do properly” within the sport.

Nevertheless, with the assistance of her instructor and former Women Skilled Golf Affiliation (LGPA) Tour participant Kim Track-Hee, Lee recouped her confidence on the ANA Inspiration, which was performed at California’s Mission Hills Nation Membership.

And forward of the showdown with two of the world’s 10 finest golfers, Lee once more sought recommendation from Track-Hee.

Mirim Lee plays a tee shot on the seventh hole during her second round at Mission Hills.
“I talked on the telephone along with her earlier than going into the playoff,” Lee informed CNN Sport. “Whereas I used to be ready for the final two gamers to complete, I informed Kim that my pictures wavered within the last spherical.

“She informed me that I did properly in every little thing I can do, so simply present every little thing I had within the playoff. I feel that helped me to get snug.”

Exhausting occasions

After successful the ANA Inspiration due to a six-foot birdie on the primary playoff gap whereas her opponents floundered, the 29-year-old Lee’s emotion wasn’t instantly one in all elation. In actual fact Lees reveals she “did not really feel something.”

“As an alternative, I believed in regards to the onerous occasions I have been via,” she defined. “I used to be blissful, however I recalled reminiscences of the powerful occasions greater than the happiness of successful. It was my first time crying after successful.

‘It is loopy!’ Till a month and a half in the past, I informed her [Song-Hee] that I do not wish to play golf as a result of I used to be too exhausted.

“Even only a month-and-a-half in the past, you used to say this. That is not possible!’ She could not consider it as properly. I modified in a month! I modified after struggling for 3 years, not enjoying properly, so she mentioned: ‘That is actually loopy! You are mad!'”

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Lee poses with the trophy after winning the ANA Inspiration.

Previous to the ANA Inspiration, Lee’s final win on the LPGA Tour had come on the Kia Basic in 2017. Since that win, she had completed within the high 10 simply 5 occasions.

The closest she had beforehand come to successful a serious had been on the Ladies’s British Open in 2016, when Lee completed tied for second after taking pictures a 10-under par 62 within the opening spherical to tie the occasion’s single-round file.

In line with Lee, she did not put together “something otherwise” for her ANA Inspiration win.

“It’s a main competitors, however for me it was extra of a testing alternative to point out what I had practiced with Track-Hee. It’s a main, however I participated as if it isn’t a serious. I feel I participated to check my pictures.”

Lee’s preparations had been additionally unsettled when her common caddie, Duncan French, found he would not be capable of acquire a visa to journey to the US from his native New Zealand.

Whereas she used the experience of caddie Matt Gelczis — who joined her by leaping into the long-lasting Poppie’s Pond as is customary after successful the ANA Inspiration — Lee nonetheless leant on French’s recommendation from afar.

“He contacted me after the second spherical. He informed me that I used to be doing properly and gave me numerous recommendation. I informed him I might like for him to get right here ASAP. I saved telling him: ‘I want you had been right here; when will you get right here?'”

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Lee hits an approach shot during day four of the 2014 Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing, China.

Utilizing the setting

Wanting again on the ANA Inspiration, Lee thinks her play initially had suffered by her getting forward of herself.

“Till the secod spherical … I tended to focus extra on the rating than what I had practiced. I feel I used to be getting desperate to win.”

However having spoken to Track-Hee again in South Korea, she was in a position to loosen up extra and play her pure recreation which enabled her to have the wonderful last day.

When she began the ultimate day two pictures behind Korda and Henderson, the South Korean additionally felt as if the stress was off. Whereas others faltered, Lee chipped in a exceptional thrice throughout her last spherical, together with on the ultimate gap to qualify for the three-way playoff.

Her last gap chip did not come with out controversy although.

Whereas normally the 18th inexperienced could be surrounded by onlooking followers, with folks prohibited from attending due to the coronavirus pandemic, a big blue wall took the place of these spectators as a substitute.

Lee’s method to the ultimate inexperienced would have usually sailed into the water over the inexperienced, however as a substitute, she purposely performed her shot off the wall in order that it stopped only a few ft off the placing floor.

She chipped in from there, qualifying her for the playoff. And Lee says that hitting the ball towards that wall was one thing that she practiced after seeing different gamers do it.

“I feel each participant used that wall. I had heard you can get a drop when the ball lands close to the wall. All of the gamers that I performed with within the first and second spherical had been hitting the ball in the direction of the wall, so I believed I might do it as properly.”

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Lee plays her third shot on the par 4, first hole during the first round of the 2017 ANA Inspiration.

Going ahead

Even after Lee had chipped in to cap a final-round 67 and provides her the clubhouse lead, Korda had nonetheless but to complete the ultimate gap. Regardless of having completed so strongly, Lee was satisfied she’d find yourself in second place.

“Going into the 18th gap, I set my thoughts to a minimum of end second or third. I hit an eagle on the 18th gap, however I nonetheless did not anticipate to win, as a result of I believed Korda was going to complete with a birdie undoubtedly.

“I used to be considering that ending second remains to be outcome. As a result of Korda can hit long-range, I anticipated her to simply hit a birdie.”

However Korda needed to accept par on the par-five 18th, forcing the playoff. For Lee, the playoff was the place she thrived.

“Really, I used to be extra snug within the playoff than the remainder of the ultimate spherical. In actual fact, I feel I confirmed all of the efficiency I had on the playoff. I did a cushty swing that I could not do through the last spherical. I used to be simply extra snug on the whole.”

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Lee and caddie Gelczis celebrate after taking the Poppie's Pond leap after winning the ANA Inspiration.

Now Lee is gearing up for the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Membership in Pennsylvania, the season’s third main championship. She has twice completed within the high 10 on the match, most just lately in 2019.

And having received the primary main of her profession, Lee has regained her ardour for the sport.

“I feel I gained extra confidence after successful. Additionally, I am having fun with golf now. I feel it [the win] turned every little thing reverse. I feel I type of know the way to play golf now. Previous to this, I did not understand how and what to do, however now I’ve the sensation I do know what to do.”

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